Sunday, September 6, 2009

Are your Leather Shoes Adding to Climate Change?

Are you wearing leather shoes right now? If so, there are chances your purchase has contributed to climate change and illicit damage to the Amazon rainforests. With the illegal expansion of cattle ranches in the Brazilian Amazon region, these forests are being destructed for leather as well as meat trade. You will be shocked to learn that due to the invasion of these ranches, the Amazon, which released greenhouse gases otherwise stored in tropical environment, is depleting rapidly.

Experts are of view that almost 1/5 of global emissions take place due to deforestation, thereby resulting in more pollution than all the ships, cars, trucks combined. On an average, one acre of the Amazon is lost every 8 seconds due to the Brazilian cattle ranches. These ranches are not only being expanded due to export of beef but high demands for hides of cattle are also helping them make money. These hides are largely used for producing shoes rather than garments and furniture. Bertin, supplier of leather to major shoe brands like Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Clarks, gets hides from the Brazilian Amazon.

Greenpeace released an eye-opening report on this issue which caused stir among major shoe manufacturers and the Brazilian supermarket. Nike took the first initiative to stop destruction of the Amazon rainforest by demanding an immediate moratorium from their Brazilian leather suppliers. Similar steps have been taken by other brands to restrict leather trading from Amazon biome suppliers. If you also want to be a part of environmental sustainability, you can choose recycled, sustainable and environment friendly shoes from brands like Zappos, La Sportiva and Simple Shoes.

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